KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Mercedes Russell scored 17 points and freshman Rennia Davis had her first double-double Monday as No. 12 Tennessee withstood a sluggish performance in a 68-56 victory over winless Wichita State.
Davis had 15 points and 10 rebounds to assure that Tennessee earned its fifth straight 3-0 start as the Lady Vols head into the Cancun Classic later this week. Anastasia Hayes added 12 points.
Wichita State (0-5) gave the Lady Vols their toughest challenge of the young season.
Tennessee had won its first two games by an average margin of 33.5 points. In each of those games, the Lady Vols had led by double figures at the end of the first quarter and maintained that double-digit advantage the rest of the way.
Diamond Lockhart led Wichita State with 13 points, while Jeliah Preston and Angiee Tompkins added 12 points each.
No. 17 SOUTH FLORIDA 71, BUTLER 55
TAMPA, Fla. — Laura Ferreira and Kitija Laksa scored 17 points apiece, Maria Jespersen had a double-double and South Florida defeated Butler.
Jespersen had 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Bulls (4-0), who dominated the second quarter but only outscored the Bulldogs (3-1) by one over the other three quarters.
After both teams shot 50 percent to end the first quarter tied at 17, the Bulls made 9 of 13 shots, including three 3-pointers, to lead 40-25 at halftime. Butler, which was off to its best start since 1990, made just 4 of 15 shots, missing all six behind the arc.
With Tori Schickel and Whitney Jennings scoring inside to start the second half, Butler got within 11 but the Bulldogs were down by 20 after an 8-0 USF run and never challenged.
Schickel and Jennings both scored 18 and Schickel pulled down 15 rebounds and blocked four shots.